A couple of years ago a sales rep showed me "Jelly Rolls"--40 precut 2 1/2" strips neatly rolled up. My initial (and incorrect reaction) was, "Who needs this??!" Being a REAL quilter, I would cut my own 2 1/2" strips when I needed them, thank you very much. Now, however, I am older and I hope, wiser, and my eyes have been opened to the myriad possibilities of the
2 1/2" strip. Books, patterns and magazines have all featured quick patterns highlighting these strips. These are fun! It is like wanting a quick dessert and using a cake mix instead of building everything from scratch--it is still yours, it is still "handmade" but quicker and, dare I say it, smarter. I now make my own 2 1/2" strips, using my AccuQuilt die cutter, bundle them in groups of 40 strips, and roll them up. I call mine "Nona's Homemade Rolls." What I like best about these my homemade rolls is that I can select from a number of different fabric lines, giving my finished product the look that says, "I collected these fabrics for a long time." The current trend toward scrappy quilts meshes perfectly with Homemade Rolls. I am now writing my second quilt pattern for using the 2 1/2" strip rolls. My first design is called, "Fixin' Fence" and features a delightful cowboy kid print and coordinates as well as random very bright fabrics. I love the graphic design that is created by the black print. The best part is this is a easy quilt, pieced in just a few hours. Don't be fooled into thinking this design can only be made with juvenile prints. This would look terrific in florals, replacing the black print with a bright yellow or peachy pink. How about in red, white & blues, with a solid navy where the pattern shows the black print. Be sure to look a little closer at the "homemade rolls" next time you stop by. It is just the thing to life your spirits on gloomy days.